Information Regarding Middle School Promotion

Marlowe 8th-grade Students and Families,

Due to the ongoing pandemic, Marlowe’s in-person promotion ceremony which was scheduled for July 23 at Huntley High School has been canceled. In lieu of a traditional ceremony, we will recognize our 8th-grade students in a blended format including a virtual ceremony as well as the opportunity for students to receive their certificate of promotion in front of the school via a drive-up model.

While this two-part recognition cannot replace the special memories of a traditional ceremony, we hope this plan will provide students and families with both a collective occasion to remember and a personalized opportunity to celebrate, while maintaining compliance with public health guidelines.

Virtual Ceremony

We are currently at work to produce a virtual ceremony that will to the greatest extent possible replicate the key components of a traditional promotion ceremony, including a student speaker, honors and recognitions. Unfortunately, the current circumstances will not allow us to include the tradition of students processing across the stage to receive their certificate of promotion. Rather, we will invite our students to sign up for a five-minute time slot to receive their certificate and take a photo in front of Marlowe Middle School.

The virtual ceremony will be streamed via the District 158 YouTube channel for families to view from the comfort and safety of their homes. We will announce in advance when the virtual portion of the ceremony will be available for viewing.

Certificate of Promotion Pickup

We will invite families to sign up online for a five-minute time slot to receive their student’s certificate of promotion and be personally recognized by building administration.  Please look in the near future for an email from myself with the link to select a date and time.

Drive-Up Procedure

  • Limit of one car per student. (Students who come from blended families are welcome to invite both parents to the school.)
  • Any immediate family member not traveling with the student will be expected to park in the parking lot and approach the building only when their student exits their vehicle.
  • Students and families are asked to please arrive at least 10 minutes before their time slot.
  • Remain in the car until all members of the previous party are back inside their vehicle.
  • Due to the number of families in our school, we will be unable to accommodate late arrivals.
  • When called, students will leave the car and retrieve their certificate from a designated table.
  • There will be no personal exchange of certificates or medals.

Photo Opportunities

To maintain both our tight schedule and social distancing guidelines, three photo opportunities will be offered:

  • One photo with the principal (spaced six feet apart)
  • One photo alone in front of the building
  • One photo with immediate family

Face Coverings

  • Any person leaving the vehicle must wear a face mask.
  • Students and immediate family will be allowed to remove their masks only for the photo opportunity.
  • The Principal and student may also remove their masks for their photo.

Our Decision Making

While we had held out hope to provide our students with the traditional recognition ceremony they have earned and expected, the health and safety of our students, families, and staff must remain our top priority. I would like to thank the members of the Class of 2020 for the grace with which they have accepted the unfortunate circumstances forced on them and the manner in which they have continued to conduct themselves during the Remote Learning period and planning for this recognition.

In addition to arrangements for our blended ceremony, we discussed other possibilities, options, and ideas. Ultimately, the decision to move to a blended virtual ceremony was made based upon the uncertain future that lies ahead surrounding COVID-19 and our best understanding of the restrictions likely to be in place at the time of promotion.

We will continue to communicate with our students and families as we move forward with planning for the blended promotion ceremony. On behalf of the entire Marlowe community, I thank you for your patience, understanding, and concern regarding this process.


Mr. Tony Venetico
Principal, Marlowe Middle School